General Mills $750,000 Grant Renews Support for School Feeding Programs in China and India

Location:India
Programs:School Meals
November 10, 2020
Photo: WFP/Michael Huggins

Washington, D.C. (November 10, 2020) — World Food Program USA partner General Mills has announced a $750,000 two-year grant, extending its support for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)’s school feeding programs in India and China. In India, the grant will support new pilot programs to strengthen the nutritional effectiveness of the Mid-Day Meal Program, and in China, will support the Preschool Nutrition Improvement Pilot Project in Hunan and Guangxi.

“We know that nutritious school meals are more than just food; they are an investment in a child’s future,” said Barron Segar, President and CEO, World Food Program USA. “We are grateful to General Mills for their continued support and dedication to ensuring all children have the nutrition they need to thrive.”

In India, the pilot will test innovative and sustainable solutions for enhancing program capacity and addressing micronutrient deficiencies of the mid-day meal. School nutri-gardens will be established to provide fresh produce, enhance nutritional value of meals, and provide gardening experience and nutrition education to children. To increase food safety and hygiene awareness among school cooks, the U.N. World Food Programme has developed an educational training app for cooks, which includes a dashboard for government stakeholders to monitor utilization. The program will also implement nutrition education in schools focused on personal hygiene, nutrition best practices, and how to prevent and respond to micronutrient deficiencies.

“We are inspired by the success of our partnership with the U.N. World Food Programme in India and China, and feel strongly that renewing our commitment will help to ensure that more children are nourished and ready to learn through school feeding programs,” said Nicola Dixon, Executive Director of the General Mills Foundation. “At General Mills, we believe in the power of food to break the cycle of poverty and hunger, and these pilot programs will advance these important efforts.”

Due to COVID-19’s impact on food insecurity and malnutrition, the U.N. World Food Programme is extending its nutrition programming in China. The Preschool Nutrition Improvement Pilot will reach 2,750 preschool children and aims to increase the nutritional value of preschool meals with local and seasonal ingredients, as well as a milk supplement. Additionally, the program will include training workshops for students, teachers, cooking staff, and parents, as well as support of small-scale farmers with technical training, expanding access to markets, and increasing their participation in the homegrown school meal program by 30 percent. This pilot fills the gap between the Chinese government’s maternal and infant nutrition programs and the national school meal program that focuses on primary school students.

General Mills’ first grant in 2017 enabled a pilot program with local partners in the Indian state of Odisha, where a large proportion of youth are severely malnourished. More than 137,000 schoolchildren there received micronutrient-fortified mid-day meals. In 2018, General Mills expanded its support with a similar pilot in Uttar Pradesh which reached 290,000 children with micronutrient fortified school meals. In 2019, following the pilot programs’ success, General Mills allocated a second grant for $500,000 to scale-up school feeding programs throughout Uttar Pradesh and Odisha, as well as a pilot program in China for rural, malnourished preschool students.

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About World Food Program USA | World Food Program USA is the recognized leader in America’s pursuit to end global hunger, inspiring citizens to do everything in their power to create a zero-hunger world. We work with U.S. policymakers, corporations, foundations and individuals to generate financial and in-kind resources for the United Nations World Food Programme, 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, to feed families in need around the world and to develop policies necessary to alleviate global hunger. To learn more about our mission, please visit us at www.wfpusa.org.

About General Mills | General Mills is a leading global food company that serves the world by making food people love. Its brands include Cheerios, Annie’s, Yoplait, Nature Valley, Häagen-Dazs, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Old El Paso, Wanchai Ferry, Yoki, Blue and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills generated fiscal 2018 proforma net sales of U.S. $17.0 billion, including $1.3 billion from Blue Buffalo. In addition, General Mills’ share of non-consolidated joint venture net sales totaled U.S. $1.1 billion. For more information, visit GeneralMills.com and follow our A Taste of General Mills blog.